HYDERABAD: Taking head-on the critics of Kaleshwaram, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday said the lift irrigation project and the benefits it would bestow on farmers were beyond their ken. Speaking in the temple town of Dharmapuri in Jagtial district after visiting the Medigadda barrage and witnessing the 140-km-long live storage of the Godavari, which was recently created under the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS), the CM explained the salient features of the project. “Kaleshwaram will create a 400 tmcft water bank for Telangana.
If Yellampalli and SRSP get good inflows, water from Kaleshwaram will not be pumped to them. If there are no inflows to SRSP and Yellampalli, water from Kaleshwaram will be lifted to them... I have used all my intelligence and discussed it with experts before preparing the design for Kaleshwaram,” he said. The CM alleged some people were speaking about Kaleshwaram, betraying their lack of understanding. “It will irrigate 45 lakh acres, including 5 lakh acres of gap ayacut,” he asserted.
Rao explained that it was proposed to lift 60 tmcft every month from June to November through Kaleshwaram. Another 40 tmcft would be lifted from Godavari between November and June. This would create a 400 tmcft water bank for TS, and would also be used for Hyderabad’s drinking and industrial needs, he said.
CM explains the need for KLIS, slams Jaya Prakash
“The idea is to lift 3 tmcft daily from Medigadda to Yellampalli and 2 tmcft daily from Yellampalli to Mallanna Sagar. Every day, water would be pumped at the rate of 7,000 cusecs to Kondapochamma. If Yellampalli receives poor inflows, Kaleshwaram water will supplement it,” Rao explained. “In case there were less inflows into Nizam Sagar, Singur and Sriram Sagar Projects, Kaleshwaram would supplement them too,” he added.
Rao said that at present there was no water at SRSP. “There is no water in the upper Godavari. At the same time, the discharge at Medigadda is 5 lakh cusecs,” Rao said. He added: “If there is no water to SRSP, Kaleshwaram water will be lifted from Yellampalli to SRSP through a flood-flow canal.” Rao also said that once Dummugudem and Devadula were completed, another 175 tmcft water could be utilised.
KCR blasts JP
When a reporter brought up the allegations levelled by Lok Satta founder Jaya Prakash Narayana that it would become a white elephant as the State would have staggering power bills, the chief minister shot back: “The government would bear the lift irrigation power bills, even if they run into thousands of crores. Some people have lost their mental balance. What does he know about Kaleshwaram? He has little knowledge about the project. I sense envy in his words.”